The Briefly for January 13, 2019 – The “Caught Speeding Without Consequence” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Fingers start pointing over Book Culture’s closure, a tribute to Bowie, the NYC Bar Association calls for an investigation of William Barr, and more

Today – Low: 37˚ High: 48˚
Overcast throughout the day.

A water main broke near Lincoln Center, causing flooding and train delays between 96th and Tims Square on the Upper West Side. (@tomkaminskiwcbs)

A timeline of the incidents that caused 300 subway cars to be pulled from the MTA’s fleet last week. The cars are sidelined “indefinitely.” (Stephen Nessen for Gothamist)

The biggest Harry Potter store in the world is opening in the city this summer in the former Restoration Hardware in Flatiron. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Warner Brothers asked Manhattan’s Community Board 5 if it could install a dragon on the facade of the 19 century building to a frosty reception. (Dennis Lynch for The Real Deal)

If you want to apply to join your Community Board in Manhattan, the deadline is coming up. Make sure to have your application postmarked by the 21st. (Holly Louise Perry for Bowery Boogie)

The Reckless Driver Accountability Act was introduced in 2018. The bill would boot or impound the cars of anyone who received five or more red light or speed camera violations in a year until an accountability program was completed. Since its introduction, 362 have been killed on the city’s roads. What is the holdup in City Council? (Mark Hallum for amNewYork Metro)

The city’s speed cameras caught cabs speeding 117,042 times in 2019. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog)

An argument to dissolve the city’s Economic Development Corporation, represented by its 27 member unelected board appointed by the mayor and has an oversized amount of influence on the city’s direction. (Emily Sharp for Queens Eagle)

Photos: The 2020 No Pants Subway Ride. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork)

Net neutrality, consumer protections, women’s equity, and more of 16 notable proposals not included in Governor Cuomo’s State of the State speech. (Samir Khurshid for Gotham Gazette)

“If we’re going to discuss gun safety, what’s a nautical themed way to make a nod toward that?” An interview with the artist who helped create the masterpiece that is Governor Cuomo’s fever dream poster. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

Central Park’s Sheep Meadow earned that nickname, giving a home to about 200 sheep up through the 1930’s, as part of Olmstead and Vaux’s original vision for the park. (Sam Neubauer for I Love the Upper West Side)

Protected bike lanes are coming to Franklin and Quay streets on the Greenpoint-Williamsburg border. (Kevin Duggar for Brooklyn Paper)

Here’s a fun riddle: How do you pay for a MetroCard if no bills are accepted, no coins are accepted, no credit cards are accepted, no debit cards are accepted, no single tickets are given and only exact change is allowed? (ActionKid)

The Broadway-Lafayette station, the closest station to his old home, sported a tribute to David Bowie four years after his death. (Elie Perler for Bowery Boogie)

The New York City Bar Association is calling on Congress to investigate whether William Barr is too politically biased to fulfill his legal obligations as the nation’s attorney general. (Mary Papenfuss for HuffPost)

A new bill from Queens City Council Member Francisco Moya would declare aliens from another planet and replace “alien” and “illegal immigrant” with “noncitizen.” (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

Interactive Map: How frequently subway lines and buses are delayed across the city. (Viewing NYC)

What does the mayor have to say about Politico’s “Wasted Potential” series, which shows just how piss poor the city has been at recycling after Mayor de Blasio’s 2015 pledge to reduce the garbage shipped out of the city? “I’ll have more to say on it in the coming weeks as we figure out the next steps of what we have to do.” Basically nothing. (Danielle Muoio for Politico)

The federal government has launched an investigation into the Hunter’s Point Library for possible violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. (NY1)

With 119 points on their health department inspection, Tyme & Patience Bakery & Grill has the early lead on highest violation of the year. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

After coming right up to the brink, Neir’s Tavern in Woodhaven has a new lease, literally. A handshake deal between landlord and bar owner will extend the bar’s lease five years, which means we could be back in the position again in a few years. The landlord caved after a combination of public pressure from the Mayor de Blasio, Assemblyman Mike Miller, and City Council Member Robert Holden all made their support of Neir’s public and help from the city to get the building up to code. (Carlotta Mohamed for QNS)

When Schneps Media buys a publication, it means journalists get fired. When Schneps Media bought amNewYork, most of the editorial staff was laid off. When Schneps Media bought Metro, they laid off the entire editorial staff without severance and at this point no former editorial staffers from either publication works for amNewYork Metro, the new Schneps Media Frankenstein. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

After buying Metro and laying off their editorial staff without any severance, Victoria Schneps went on vacation in the Poconos for facials and massages. (Victoria Schneps for QNS)

Marie’s Crisis is a New York institution where singing along to the musical theater song being played by the pianists is always encouraged. The name came from a work of Thomas Payne, who died at that address in 1809, American Crisis and the original owner Marie DeMont. (Atlas Obscura)

A harlequin duck, native to the Pacific northwest was spotted in Sheepshead Bay, an exciting find for New York’s bird crowd. An unusually warm winter has extended the birdwatching season past its usual November ending. (Jessica Parks for Brooklyn Paper)

Is the city monitoring and mapping the locations of homeless New Yorkers? that’s the worry behind The Coalition for the Homeless pulling its support for Mayor de Blasio’s homelessness command center after seeing a photo published of the NYPD’s massive surveillance operation. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

I am in love with single story buildings in Manhattan. Manhattan has a tendency to feel like it’s literally overbearing and coming across a single story building is like a quick breath of air. It’s why Adam Friedberg’s Single-Story Project exhibit at the Center for Architecture is so appealing to me. The exhibit is on display through February 29th. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

South Richmond Hill, Queens is mourning Maria Fuertes, the neighborhood’s beloved 92-year-old cat lady who was attacked close to her home and was found dead on the sidewalk. A suspect has been arrested and charged with murder and sex abuse. (Andrea Salcedo for NY Times)

A look back at Kawkab America, America’s first Arabic newspaper, which launched in 1892 in New York. (Mateo Nelson for Bedford + Bowery)

I’ve fallen in love with ActionKid’s video walks around the city. While this may seem trivial now, having video like this is a great document to have of the city in a specific point in time. At the pace the city is changing, even in a few months this same walk could be drastically different. From Long Island City to Bushwick on foot, narrated. (ActionKid)

Book Culture’s majority owner Chris Doeblin is blaming the city marshal seizure of the store on corporate greed, but pretty much everyone else including his business partners and landlord blame his mismanagement. (Gwynne Hogan for Gothamist)

Anassa, Cantina 33, and Shang Kitchen join Eater’s list of the hottest restaurants in Queens. (Eater)

Thanks to reader Zlata for today’s featured photo!

The Briefly for January 10, 2020 – The “Governor Cuomo’s Art is a Nightmare” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: The hottest lunch spots, MoMA and BAM get rival record store installations, the new hot bird, the BQX will not die, free Whoppers for the Bronx, and more

Today – Low: 43˚ High: 48˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
This weekend – Low: 42˚ High: 66˚

The MTA sent a cease and desist to an artist creating original subway maps on Etsy. His map is still available directly at his website. (Aaron Gordon for Vice)

The trains removed from the MTA’s subway fleet were removed over concerns that the doors would open while the trains were in motion. According to Bombadier, the manufacturer, “the doors had not been properly calibrated by a supplier.” This is all very reassuring. (Christina Goldbaum for NY Times)

The governor designed a poster and it’s a freakin’ nightmare. Cuomo himself supposedly had input on this monstrosity, and thank god he went into politics instead of art. Honestly it’s too unbelievable. (Jesse McKinley for NY Times)

A look at five city-focused proposals from Governor Cuomo’s State of the State address. (Bernadette de Vito for Kings County Politics)

>BAM’s Rudin Family Gallery is being , an installation that explores the significance of record shops and recording studios. The installation will include a working recording studio and record shop. Never Records opens at BAM on January 15. (Bill Pearing for Brooklyn Vegan)

Not to be outdone, MoMA is opening The Record Shop, in partnership with Earwax Records through March 1. There will be fine art prints, books, record players, and records that are a part of MoMA’s permanent collection for sale. (Bill Pearis for BrooklynVegan)

A look at William Pope.L’s “member: Pope.L, 1978-2001” exhibit at MoMA. Pope.l is likely best known for his “crawls,” like “The Great White Way: 22 Miles, 9 Years, 1 Street” where he wore a Superman costume and crawled up Broadway. (Martha Schwendener for NY Times)

Adelina’s in Greenpoint is making some major changes for the new year. Last year the restaurant converted to all vegetarian and vegan and this year they’re jettisoning their pizza fritter for pinsa Romana. (Greenpointers)

The TWA Hotel is trying their hardest to continue to make headlines. A swimming pool on the roof, an ice skating rink, a bar in an airplane, and now a “retro Alpine hideaway.” No doubt you’ll find your jet setting friend posting to Instagram from the new roof installation. (Jen Carlson for Gothamist)

Gowanus is full of unexpected activities. Shuffleboard, ax throwing, street curling, rock climbing, and don’t forget 3D archery. (Brooklyn Eagle)

Fran Drescher is developing “The Nanny” for Broadway. No word on when Ms. Fine will make her Broadway debut. (NY1)

“We are evaluating all legal options against Bombardier, including the best way to recover costs incurred as a result of this matter.” -Andy Byford (Mark Hallum for amNewYork)

The No Pants Subway Ride is this Sunday. (Kate Hooker for Brooklyn Based)

Move over Mandarin Duck, the hottest bird in the city is now the Painted Bunting in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Birds! (Adam Nichols for Patch)

Where to have a vegetarian birthday dinner. (The Infatuation)

For those of us who don’t understand the appeal of Wegmans, a personal essay about warmth, enjoyment and Wegmans. (Nancy Davidoff Kelton for West View News)

Who would have guessed that CBS NY would win “worst headline of the week” over anything at the NY Post? This week CBS went with a long-debunked theory about how HIV is transmitted to stoke fear about the new bail reforms. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The BQX just will not die. The $2 billion project that would link Red Hook to Astoria has a new website which gives some information about public hearings and the timing of the project. (Jaime DeJesus for The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

After the MTA proposed removing bus service from a portion of Roosevelt Ave in Queens, City Council Member Costa Constantinides has proposed a reform to the MTA’s board, allowing for each borough to have its own representative appointed by the borough president instead of the four members appointed by the mayor. (Kristen Torres for Jackson Heights Post)

Mayor De Blasio put a panel together to help decide what should be done with the necessary BQE construction along the Brooklyn Promenade. Their recommendation? Create another panel. No solution, some recommendations to reduce traffic, but ultimately a draft release of the report says that this is a project that needs federal, state, and local input. Perhaps this will be discussed until the BQE literally crumbles. (Dana Rubensten for Politico)

FREE Williamsburg is ending its run this year, the 22nd year of its existence. They’ll be celebrating the end at Saint Vitus at the end of the month. (Robert Lanham for FREE Williamsburg)

Burger King is trying to make living near the Joker stairs in the Bronx a bit less painful with a promotion for a free Whopper if you live in the Bronx through Uber Eats. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist)

Neir’s Tavern in Woodhaven has been open since 1829 (or 1855 depend on who you listen to). This Sunday is its last day, as the bar is closing for good after a battle with its landlord over rent, so head out to Woodhaven this weekend to raise a glass to one of the city’s oldest watering holes. (Kevin Walsh at Forgotten New York)

Is a surprise for no one, WeWork lease-signing is at a five year low. (Jack Sidders for Bloomberg)

Nothing is as Murray Hill as this White Claw Hard Seltzer display where a magazine rack used to be. (@heybonanos)

A former Brooklyn cop was sentenced Wednesday to one day in jail and four years of probation nearly a year after he claimed a suspect almost ran him and his partner over with a car—until a video surfaced months later that showed he lied. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist)

Two Wheels, Soho Diner, the Deco, the Awkward Scone, Yafa Cafe join Eater’s list of the 14 hottest lunch spots in NYC. (Eater)

The Briefly for January 9, 2019 – The “300 Defective Subway Cars and State of the State” Edition

Today’s daily NYC news digest: Legal weed, 12 bloody hours for pedestrians, the OMNY system is stealing fares, rent in Williamsburg hits an all-time high, the best bagels, and more

Today – Low: 32˚ High: 34˚
Clear throughout the day.

Video: Watch the full State of the State Address. (NYGovCuomo on YouTube)

An overview of homeless funding, small business tax cuts, a “Restore Mother Nature” bond, and other proposals that could come from the speech. (Kathryn Brenzel for The Real Deal)

With the state legislature being in firm control of Democrats in 2019 and making real progress on Cuomo’s agenda, the governor was forced to find new material for this year’s speech. (Politico)

The state failed to legalize weed in the summer of 2019, could 2020 be the year? The governor called it an ethical imperative to legalize it. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

During the speech, Cuomo called for labeling certain hate crimes as domestic terrorism, which is punishable by life in prison. (Zack Fink for NY1)

The governor is calling to end the “fraud” of the gig economy, comparing gig economy corporations to sweatshops and legislation could re-classify independent contractors as employees, similar to the recently passed (and challenged) California law. (Dana Rubenstein for Politico)

The Restore Mother Nature Bond Act, mentioned in the speech, would pump $3 billion into resiliency efforts across the state, city included. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork)

Governor Cuomo vetoed a bill that independent pharmacists said would protect them and patients against health care middlemen causing higher fees. The governor cited higher fees and anti-competition concerns in his message. (Gabe Herman for The Villager)

Governor Cuomo wants to ban repeat sex offenders from the subway. How? No one has an answer to that question and this is the second year in a row he’s expressed that desire. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

The MTA pulled nearly 300 brand new-but-faulty subway cars from their tracks overnight on Tuesday for “repeated issues.” The cars represent 4.5% of the MTA’s fleet. These are the same cars that the MTA paid $600 million for and only received 18 on time and have since cost the city $35 million in repairs and $300 million in lost labor. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch)

The OMNY system celebrated its 5 millionth payment, but there’s more to this story. It seems that some scanners have been double charging unwitting riders. As riders scan their MetroCards, the sensitive scanners pick up the near field signal and also charge their credit cards. In order to fix this on an iPhone, disable “Express Transit Card” in your Wallet and Apple Pay settings. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist)

In a very MTA moment, someone managed to jump a turnstile in the middle of an OMNY press conference. (Bowery Boogie)

The MTA is being sued by Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (yeah, it spells STOP) to get information about a camera in the Times Square station installed to deter fare evasion. STOP believes the MTA is deploying facial recognition technology, but the MTA denies any facial recognition. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

46% of families living below the poverty line do not have broadband internet access as home. To alleviate this, the mayor announced an Internet Master Plan. It’s low on details, but the idea is the city will partner with private providers to expand the current infrastructure. (Adam Nichols for Patch)

The LaGuardia AirTrain situation is a complete mess. If the AirTrain moves forward, it will be Governor Cuomo’s sheer force of will, and not what is the best actual option. (Benjamin Kabak for Second Ave Sagas)

Ever sine the L train shutdown was shutdown, rent in Williamsburg started creeping up and are now 26.7% higher and have hit an all-time high of $3,675/month. (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed)

The city witnessed a 12 bloody hours as four pedestrians were killed or critically injured. A man was killed but he driver of a bus in Midtown, a 10-year-old boy and his mother were hit by a garbage truck and the boy was killed by the driver, and a 68-year-old woman was killed by the driver of a cement truck in Borough Park. 122 pedestrians were killed in 2019, up from 105 in 2018. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)

Mulchfest continues through January 11, so bring your Christmas trees to one of the 67 drop-off sites across the city to participate. (Gabe Herman for The Villager)

The best momo (Himalayan dumplings) in the city, ranked. (Joe DiStefano for Grub Street)

Phots: The vintage typewriters of the closed to the public Bankers Club on the 40th floor of the Equitable Building. (Michelle Young for Untaped New York)

2019 seemed like the year for Universal Healthcare in New York state. What happened? (Ross Barkan for Gothamist)

Stop buying books on Amazon and borrow them from the library. An arduous task, I know. Use Library Extension to make it easier, the Chrome and Firefox extension will tell you what books and audiobooks are available at the nearest libraries to you. Shaye Weaver for Time Out)

Book Culture, the beloved book shop on the Upper West Side, suddenly closed due to owed rent payments. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft)

Here’s a different kind of “world’s tallest.” The 707-foot tall 270 Park Ave is about to become the tallest building to be intentionally razed. chase has decided it wants a 70-story building there instead, nearly twice the height of the old building. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist)

Renderings: See inside Peak, the 101st-floor restaurant coming to Hudson Yards. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft)

Another food hall is opening in Midtown. Take a look at the 12,000 square foot Urbanspace, which will include Roberta’s Pizza, LoLo’s, Call Me Pasta, City Tamale, an Eisenberg’s sandwich shop, and more. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist)

Brooklyn Public Library’s Sheepshead Bay branch reopened Tuesday after a five-month closure. (Jessica Parks for Brooklyn Paper)

Is the city’s healthiest neighborhood Midtown? (Emily Davenport for amNewYork)

Meet Dena Cooper, the artist transforming Alexander Jackson into Harriet Tubman on $20 bills. (Scott Enman for Brooklyn Eagle)

A look at The Duplex, the city’s longest running cabaret bar. (Dawson Knick for GVSHP)

The finest bagels of NYC, mapped. (Eater)

How the city’s bagel union fought off a mafia takeover. (Jason Turbow for Grub Street)